Olaf Scholz visited Ukraine on Thursday, with his colleagues from France, Italy and Romania. In Kiev, the Chancellor said the European Union needed to prepare. Germany wanted Ukraine to become an accession candidate.
Berlin, June 16th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — On Wednesday night, Chancellor Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Prime Minister boarded a train at the Polish-Ukrainian border. Its route and schedule were not announced, for safety reasons. On Thursday morning, they arrived in Kiev (Kiyv). Klaus Iohannis, the President of Romania, joined them there.
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This morning, Scholz visited Irpin, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital. He looked at the damage there and said the Russian military had resorted to a lot of brutality. In the afternoon, the four visitors held a press conference with their Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
President Macron stated Ukraine could count on the European Union. Russia’s attack would never be accepted. The support for Ukraine would increase. This was about the safety of all of Europe. “Europe is on your side and will be until there is a victory”, Macron told Zelenskyy. Prime Minister Draghi said Ukraine had to be able to defend itself. There needed to be a lasting and just peace.
Olaf Scholz was the last head of government to speak at the press conference. Russia’s attack on Ukraine had marked a turn of eras, the Chancellor stated. Russia was trying to move borders, which was completely unacceptable. “We support Ukraine financially and on a humanitarian basis.” More than 800,000 Ukrainian refugees were in Germany, 135 children from there were being taught at German schools, he said.
Right now, the Federal Republic was training Ukrainian soldiers on modern weapons systems, Scholz stressed. An air defense system had been promised to the country as well. In addition, the Chancellor mentioned an international agreement that had been struck to provide Ukraine with rocket launchers.
In spite of all the support it is giving to Ukraine, Olaf Scholz’ government has been criticized harshly for not doing enough, both in Germany and in Ukraine. Weeks ago, demands were voiced according to which Scholz needed to visit Ukraine “immediately”. The Chancellor waited, until now. First, an argument between Germany’s former Russia policy between Kiev and Berlin needed to be resolved.